A member of Amherst College’s Sexual Respect Task Force said Tuesday that she’s not sure if sanctions short of suspension from school are strong enough for members of the men’s cross country team. Some of them were caught exchanging racist, sexist and homophobic online messages.
In a statement, the school said several individuals will be suspended from varsity sports for periods ranging from three contests to the remainder of their enrollment at Amherst.
Michele Barale, a professor of sexuality, women’s and gender studies, said she was horrified by the messages. But she said the school had a difficult line to walk.
“You know, ‘Off with their heads’ is the easiest response. The harder one is to figure out what’s just for as many people as possible, and still hurts,” Barale said.
Offenders will be also required to discuss ways to redress the harm to those targeted in the messages. And the full team will have to undergo what the school calls “an educational process,” though a spokesperson said what that means specifically is still being worked out.